What to Do During a Plumbing Emergency

Few people go through life without experiencing a plumbing emergency every few years.

Whether it is a minor emergency like a toilet overflowing, or a major mishap with a broken water line shooting water into your home, you need to know how to react to minimize damage. There is not time to research the best solutions when you have water or waste spilling into your home. Here are some tips to help ensure you know what to do when your next plumbing emergency occurs.

First Actions During a Plumbing Emergency

When a pipe breaks or water is spraying out of your kitchen faucet, you need to act fast. Water is being wasted and it can quickly cause damage in your home. Whatever the issue, there are a few quick-action tasks that can help mitigate the damage before you move on to repair.

  • Shut off the water. If water is flowing, you need to stop it at the source. For sinks, toilets and appliances, there is often a specific shut-off valve to stop the water flow. Turn off the water at the source. If this is not possible, as is the case for broken pipes and the like, turn off your main water line valve.
  • Restrict the area. Keep pets and kids away from the water or waste pools. This is very important as this is sewage from an overflowing toilet or backed up drain. There are contaminants that pose a health hazard to both humans and pets.
  • Drain the lines. If you must turn off the main water line due to a pipe leak, help drain the water still in the lines by turning on faucets throughout the house. Keep them open until the water stops running, emptying the lines of any water.
  • Call a plumber. Once the water is no longer exiting into your home, call a professional. Mason Mechanical offers emergency plumbing services for your emergency plumbing needs.
  • Soak up the water. While waiting for your plumber to arrive, use towels, mops and other absorbent materials to remove as much water as you can. Be careful with sewage; you do not want to spread contaminated water around your home.

A quick response can limit the amount of moisture that is released into your home, minimizing water and mold damage. The faster you react, the less chance of expensive damage you will incur due to your plumbing emergency.

Possible Causes and Signs of a Plumbing Emergency

Some plumbing emergencies are obvious; some are more hidden and can remain undetected for some time. Knowing what to look for can help you identify the problem and get the professional repair you need more quickly, reducing the chance of extreme damage to your home.

  • Wet, brown or stained walls or ceilings. Not all leaks are large, but that does not make them any less of an emergency. Slow leaks in pipes hidden behind walls and ceilings can be doing extensive damage. Look for wet spots or brown water spots on walls/ceilings and react quickly to stop any more leakage.
  • Soft, wet spots in the yard. Some plumbing emergencies happen outside. A main water line break or sewage pipe leak can go undetected for days or weeks. Keep an eye out for soft, wet areas in the yard or greener grass in one area that may be signs of an underground pipe leak.
  • Higher water bills. Did your water bill jump due to extreme water usage? It could be a leak in an inconspicuous place, like underground or in a basement.
  • Backed up drains. If more than one drain is backing up, there could be a large clog in your plumbing impacting several or more drains. Call a plumber before the backup ends up in your home and causes extensive damage.
  • Leaks under sinks. A small drip may not seem like a big deal under a sink, but if that pipe burst when you are not home, it could be a very big deal. Get small leaks repaired right away to avoid big plumbing emergencies.
  • Water heater leaks. One of the biggest sources of large water flooding in the home is a tank water heater leaking. A small leak can mean the tank is deteriorating and could at any minute release hundreds of gallons of water into your home. Have it serviced, repaired or replaced before it causes harm to your home.

At Mason Mechanical, we are here for you when you need emergency plumbing repairs. Our experienced plumbers can fix almost any plumbing issue and we are available any time of day or night to receive your call. We will send one of our talented plumbing technicians to solve your plumbing emergency and help minimize the damage to your home and property as quickly as possible.